The Extinction of Physical Copies? – Nearly everyone who deals with paperwork on a daily basis. Such as lawyers, insurance agents, physicians, investment bankers, and so on.
Everyone has pondered the question: will the modern economy switch to a completely “paperless model” in which all transactions, records, dealings and exchanges of any kind are executed and stored electronically?
To some, it sounds almost comical, like something out of a science fiction novel; to others. However, it reflects a very balanced awareness of the substantial costs involved with incorporating physical paperwork into the daily work routine.
But, for a variety of reasons, it will probably be the case that physical paperwork will continue to be used in the business world for a very long time.
Reasons Why Physical Paperwork Will Continue
Perhaps the strongest argument against physical paperwork – and therefore in favor of the so-called paperless model – has to do with the environment.
Both inside and outside of the business world, it’s a very well known fact that many businesses make extremely poor use of paper. As a quick stroll into almost any law firm or insurance company will reveal, it is standard practice in American business culture to discard usable paper and also to use paper even when not absolutely necessary.
Obviously, after all of the misuse has been tallied up, it is relatively easy to see that the environmental impact of physical paperwork in the business would is quite severe.
An Extremely Difficult Transition
However, with that being said, it also very easy to see that removing physical paperwork from the business world entirely would be an extremely complicated and highly difficult task.
For one thing, physical paperwork has the advantage of withstanding computer breakdowns and security breaches: though it may be a hassle to store physical documents. We can be certain that they won’t disappear (unless they’re destroyed somehow!).
Next, a paperless model would also have to grapple with the problem of signatures: though signing documents electronically is becoming more common. A paperless model would likely present a whole host of new legal questions as people would probably be reluctant sign highly important documents electronically.
Hold Onto Your Printers
Let’s face it, physical paperwork can not only be a drag, it also usually involves significant waste and environmental degradation.
However, though this may be the case, the difficulty of transferring to a completely “paperless” business world will almost certainly guarantee the continued use of physical paperwork well into the foreseeable future. In other words, don’t throw the printer out just yet!